Monday, August 31, 2020

MLB Trade Review: Padres strike again, acquire Clevinger from Tribe

 


       The San Diego Padres have acquired RHP Mike Clevinger, OF Greg Allen and a player to be named later from the Cleveland Indians in exchange for OF Josh Naylor, RHP Cal Quantrill, C Austin Hedges,  SS Gabriel Arias, LHP Joey Cantillo and IF Owen Miller.

       The Padres have been very busy over the last 48 hours, acquiring six players that will go on their active roster, and that was before this trade. The Padres and the Indians were in contact last year when the Indians were trading another very good starter in Clevinger's friend, Trevor Bauer. Bauer went to the Reds, but the Padres were involved in the three-team deal, and acquired prospect Taylor Trammell, who they traded yesterday to the Mariners. The big area that the Padres needed to improve to go on a playoff run was starting pitching, as Chris Paddack and Garrett Richards (among others) have struggled, leaving Zach Davies and Dinelson Lamet as the only dependable starters. Clevinger can be the bona fide ace that the Padres are looking for, as from 2017 to 2019, his worst ERA in a season was 3.11. While he has dealt with injuries, Clevinger is an elite starting pitcher. The Padres did not give up any of their top five prospects, and Clevinger has two more years left of control. They also get Allen, a light-hitting outfielder who has speed and can be a pinch-runner. He is also a San Diego native and he went to San Diego State University.

       Clevinger, 29, has a 3.18 ERA with 21 strikeouts and a 5.60 FIP in 22.2 innings for the Indians this year. In his MLB career, all in Cleveland, Clevinger has a 3.20 ERA with 584 strikeouts and a 3.58 FIP in 523.1 innings. 

       Allen, 27, has one home run with one stolen base, a .160 average and an OPS of .534 in 28 Plate Appearances for the Indians this year. In his MLB career, all with the Tribe, Allen has eight home runs with 31 stolen bases, a .239 average and an OPS of .639 in 614 Plate Appearances. 

       After Zach Plesac and Clevinger were suspended and sent down to the alternate site after breaking the COVID-19 protocols, the Indians were at a fork in the road. The other players were mad at Plesac and Clevinger for their selfish act, and the team could also get a lot for the pitchers. The Indians are 21-13, well on their way to the postseason. Clevinger is an amazing pitcher, but they need some better hitters, and Naylor is a much needed outfield addition. Even after this trade, the Indians have Cy Young frontrunner Shane Bieber, plus Carlos Carrasco, Aaron Civale and top prospect Tristan McKenzie, who have all pitched well this year. Plus Plesac, who is still in the minors, but had a 1.29 ERA in three starts before the incident. The Indians will be fine without Clevinger, and they get some boosts to their lineup and their farm system. A 2015 first round pick, Naylor will slide into left field, and he is still very young. Hedges is not a good hitter, but he is a boost over Sandy Leon, who is having an awful season so far. In San Diego, Hedges was pushed out by yesterday's acquisitions Jason Castro and Austin Nola. Quantrill, the eighth overall pick in 2016, started 18 games for the Padres in his rookie season last year, and he has had some success in the bullpen in 2020. The other three players in this trade are all in the top-11 prospects in the San Diego system, per MLB Pipeline. A 20 year old from Venezuela, Arias was ranked 7th in the system, and he had good numbers in High-A last year. The left handed Cantillo was ranked ninth, and the 2017 16th rounder was amazing for Single-A Fort Wayne last year, and made it to High-A. A 3rd rounder in 2018, Miller was ranked 11th overall, the worst of the prospects acquired in this deal, but he is probably closest to the big leagues. Miller is primarily a shortstop, but he has experience at second and third base, and if he is to make it to the big leagues, second base is probably his best bet, with Francisco Lindor (and now Arias) at short and Jose Ramirez at third, but no long-term option at second. 

       Naylor, 23, has one home run with one stolen base, a .278 average and an OPS of .732 in 38 Plate Appearances for the Padres this year. In his two year career, Naylor has nine home runs with two stolen bases, a .253 average and a .720 OPS in 317 Plate Appearances.

       Quantrill, 25, has a 2.60 ERA with 18 strikeouts and a 3.94 FIP in 17.1 innings this year. In his two year MLB career, Quantrill has a 4.79 ERA with 107 strikeouts and a 4.23 FIP in 120.1 innings.

       Hedges, 28, has three home runs with a .158 average and a .591 OPS in 71 Plate Appearances for the Padres this year. In his six year career, all in San Diego, Hedges has 49 home runs with a .199 average and an OPS of .616 in 1339 Plate Appearances.

       Arias, 20, hit 17 home runs with eight stolen bases, a .302 average and an OPS of .809 in 511 Plate Appearances for High-A Lake Elsinore last year. In his minor league career, Arias has 23 home runs with 16 stolen bases, a .270 average and an OPS of .715 in 1247 Plate Appearances.

       Cantillo, 20, had a 2.26 ERA with 144 strikeouts and a 0.931 WHIP in 111.2 innings in the minor leagues last year. In his minor league career, Cantillo has a 2.51 ERA with 221 strikeouts and a 0.990 WHIP in 168.2 innings. 

       Miller, 23, hit 13 home runs with five stolen bases, a .290 average and a .785 OPS in 560 Plate Appearances for AA Amarillo last year. In his minor league career, Miller has 17 home runs with nine stolen bases, a .307 average and an OPS of .808 in 890 Plate Appearances.

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